One of the most debated questions among tennis players when it comes to tennis bags is whether a bag’s advertised climate protection feature actually works or not. Depending on the bag brand, this may also be called Climate Control, Thermoguard, or Isothermal Protection.
The opinions on this matter vary quite a bit. Some think it’s just marketing spin by the big tennis equipment brands and others feel that it actually is effective and won’t even consider a new tennis bag if doesn’t feature some kind of thermal protection. The problem is that when you research this topic you really don’t see much science behind one’s opinion.
To make matters more interesting, the wear and tear of a tennis gear bag’s foil liner is one of the most common and quickest points of failure. Therefore, just adding that feature “just in case” has its own issues too.
I wanted to objectively find out if this climate protection feature actually works because those results would have an impact on how I designed my own tennis bags for Geau Sport. I only choose and advertise features that actually work and that I can stand behind.
In short, the climate protection feature of tennis gear bags does not work as advertised. What may be most surprising is that this material may have a slightly adverse effect on the internal temperature of your tennis bag. These results held true in both cold and hot conditions and among a variety of tennis racquet bag brands.
For those that like to know the testing process, data, and graphics see the appendix of this article at the bottom.
How to protect your racquets in hot temperatures:
Most important - when on court, try to store your bag and racquets in the shade or cover your tennis bag with a white towel if shade is not available.
Contrary to most people’s instincts, leave your zippers slightly open so that the inside of your bag can release trapped hot air. Don’t let direct sunlight hit your gear.
Never leave your racquets in a hot garage, attic, or car. The composite materials of your racquet can be damaged from the extreme heat.
How to protect your racquets in cold temperatures:
Don’t leave your racquets in a cold garage, attic, or car. While the cold temperature may not damage your racquets like hot temperatures do, the cold temperatures can have an adverse and permanent effect on your strings.
There is not much you can do to keep your racquets from reaching cold ambient conditions once you are on the court. It’s just going to happen, so drop your string tension a few pounds during cold weather play.
How to choose the best tennis bag:
Choose your next tennis racquet bag based on its ability to organize your gear, durability, ergonomics, and preferred style – not its advertised climate control features. The Geau Sport Axiom Racquet bag was designed primarily around these real features, not marketing fluff.
Appendix – Testing Process, Data, Graphs
The Testing Process
3 different conditions
Cold ambient conditions
Hot ambient conditions in direct sun at noon
Hot ambient conditions in a vehicle’s trunk
A variety of the popular racquet brand bags with climate control material
A variety of the popular racquet brand bags without climate control material
Geau Sport Axiom 9 Pack Racquet Bag without climate control material
Digital temperature probes were taped to the inside of the various tennis bag compartments and zipped shut.
A digital display of the bag’s internal temperature could be read from outside of the bag and without having to open the bag’s compartment.
The graphs below show temperature on the vertical axis and time of day on the horizontal access. The results were virtually the same for all “other bags” so I’m displaying “other bag” as one bag to keep the graphs more legible.
Above graph shows that the thermal protected compartment not only didn’t protect the racquet compartment any better than a normal racquet compartment, but it also ended up slightly colder. Note that the red line and yellow line were so similar that they overlap each other.
Above graph show the Geau Sport tennis bag without thermal foil lining stayed cooler for longer than bags with thermal foil lining and bags without foil lining. If you have a good idea about why this occurred, please comment below. After 1 hour, all bags end up at the same temperature.
Above graph shows similar results to the previous graph.
If I’m being honest, I had a pretty good idea what the results would be before doing this research. Prior to developing Geau Sport’s tennis bags, I spent 11 years developing products for outdoor recreation. During that time, I developed several soft coolers and discovered that real thermal protection performance requires very thick closed cell foam. Most tennis bags feature only a thin open cell foam that is there to protect racquets from minor impacts. Also, I previously found that foil liners had no impact on performance. Maybe It just “looks” colder?
One final thought - ask yourself why most of the premium soft cooler brands don’t use internal foil liners in their coolers while the cheap $25 coolers at Wal*Mart do.
If you have suggestions about how better to perform these tests or interpret these results, please let us know. I am not a scientist but tried to make this test as objective as possible within reason.
In conclusion, the climate protection feature bragged about by most tennis bag brands doesn’t actually work, so don’t be fooled. All you need to look for in a good tennis bag is excellent organization, durability, comfort, and your preferred style – all things that I can personally guarantee with the Axiom 9-Pack.
Enjoy optimum protection for your racquets and other tennis gear today by clicking on this link.